When I decided to introduce Etsy Seller Fridays, I knew that the first seller I’d profile would be Designed By Mere. While I have the pleasure and privilege of being friends with Mere, I know that I’d still be a huge fan of her shop even if she were a stranger. Her work is just too good not to love! (much like the woman behind it… aww)
Mere opened her Etsy shop in 2008, but has been designing wedding invitations since 2006. It’s no coincidence that she also got married in 2006 – her wedding invitations were among the first she designed. Since then, Mere has expanded her line to include thank you cards, personalized note cards, and (my favourite) Christmas cards.
What I find really remarkable about Mere's work - in particular the custom work she does - is how she's able to blend her aesthetic with your personal style to create something that's uniquely you, while still staying true to the Designed By Mere brand. That takes a lot of talent and - let's be honest - dedication. Luckily, Mere has both in spades!
But enough from me: let’s hear from Mere!
Q: Where do you find your inspiration?
A: I'm inspired by a lot of things! I love florals and nature (that's pretty evident in my line). I love crisp lines and simplicity. I follow stationery and wedding blogs to stay current. Most of all, though, I'm inspired by my clients and their vision. For example, I never thought I'd design an invitation featuring peacock feathers, but that was the bride's vision, and I love how it turned out (not in my shop yet, but will be soon!). I also never would have designed the Parisian Romance line if a bride hadn't wanted me to--look what I would have missed out on!
Q: You do a lot of custom work for weddings. Any advice on sticking to a wedding budget?
A: My advice for sticking to a wedding budget: know where you want to spend the big money, and look for ways to save on all the rest. Flower arrangements might be really important to you, so you find a less expensive venue. If you want amazing pictures from an expensive photographer, spend less on the meal. As with all budgets, it's all about figuring out what your priorities are.
People don't normally budget a lot for wedding invitations and coordinating stationery, because they tend to think of it as something that they can do themselves--and they can! But a beautifully designed stationery suite does not have to be expensive, plus you'll save yourself a lot of time and stress. I tell a lot of brides not to bother with extra costly things like fancy envelopes; they'll inevitably be thrown away, but guests will likely save the invitation.
Q: How do you find a bride’s personal style gets translated into her big day?
A: I think more and more, brides and grooms want their weddings to reflect who they are as individuals and as a couple. That's why there are so many wedding invitations out there! One of my brides was from Saskatchewan, but getting married here in Ontario. She wanted to bring a bit of home to her wedding, so she was using wheat in her flower arrangements and her invitation design. It's the little things like that that tell your guests more about who you are. When my husband's cousin got married just a couple of weeks ago, she and her husband really wanted the wedding to have a close community feel to it. Everyone walked in together during the processional for the ceremony, and we all ate together at a large table afterwards. It was really special, and reflected their appreciation for the support of family and friends and their desire to have that continued support throughout their marriage. I loved it. [Ed note: check out this post on Mere’s blog to see pictures from this very wedding!]
Q: What are your favourite items from your shop?
A: It's hard to pick a favourite, but I'm so partial to the Sweet Hydrangea and Dahlia design. I love the simplicity of this design--the clean lines, single colour... By far, it's the most popular invitation in my shop.
Q: Anything else we should know about you?
A: What else should you know about me? I love being challenged by my clients to design something I never thought I would--it's how I grow as a designer. Oh, and you should know that I love doing what I do! (wait, was that a plug for BlackBerry?)
Like what you see? Want to hear more from Mere? Check out her blog!
Want your Etsy shop to be featured for an upcoming Etsy Seller Friday? Contact me via email! (Note: Only sellers who ship to Canada will be profiled.)